I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Lunch Guest

One way to tell that no one had time to take a leisurely lunch today...

Is that this little guy was able to get himself a nice intricate web going at the kitchen table.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Uncle Hugs

I have been to a handful of baby showers over the years, but had the pleasure of attending my first sprinkle on Saturday morning. A sprinkle is given to celebrate a mother-to-be who has already given birth to her first child. In this case, it was for my friend's 2nd child and we met at the Buttery for brunch on Saturday morning. There's a room downstairs that was perfect for our larger party, and the staff was super friendly. I'm not a huge brunch person, but the food was fantastic, the prices were definitely reasonable and I'm still dreaming of my cinnamon scone. Like the Terminator, I'll be baahk.

Saturday afternoon, Nick and I drove down to Rhode Island to see my dad for Father's Day. This happened to be my dad's 30th Father's Day!

Dad, before kids lookin' sharp!

Dad, after kids... You'll notice the toll we took on his hair color, but otherwise still looking sharp!

This Father's Day was also Nick's first Father's to Be Day. My parents gave him a cute book called Daddy Hugs. My brother mentioned that he'd like a similar book, but somehow, "Uncle Hugs" sounds like it would end with a police investigation and not a sleeping baby.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Guide to Day Care Centers Around the Boston Area

Pretty much the day after I found out I was pregnant, I started researching day care facilities near us. I had heard horror stories about waiting lists, sky-high tuition, etc. Since I will be returning to work full-time after my maternity leave is up, we needed to find full-time care. I liked the idea of the little one being out of the house during the day, hanging with little buddies and learning to get used to being around noise and groups of people, so we decided to actively explore day cares instead of nannies or nanny-shares.

Below is a list of centers we looked at- click on the links for location, contact info and hours of operations. I tried to include some info that's not necessarily listed on their websites, like fees and if there's a waiting list. Please note that this info may have changed since I first received it. I hope this brief guide can be helpful to others!

Labouré Child Care Center
I've lived in Southie for almost 9 years now, and walk by the Labouré Center on West Broadway several times a week; however, the tour we took in April was the first time I had been inside the building. The facility is very clean and safe, with 3 different rooms dedicated to infants and toddlers. The preschoolers are in a separate area; I was particularly impressed with preschool classrooms, as they were very bright and cheerful. The infant and toddler rooms seemed a little less inviting, but maybe that had something to do with the lighting. We met some infant teachers who were extremely friendly and took the time to answer our questions and tell us about a typical day. The Center staggers drop-off times, so when you're offered a spot, you're also told when you can drop off, which could potentially be inconvenient depending on when you have to be to work.
Fees for Infant/Toddler: $300 per week/$60 per day/$65 part time
Fees for Preschool: $215 per week/$43 per day
Waiting List: Daunting. We were told to call back after our baby is born to reiterate our interest and be added to the official waiting list.

The 2nd center we toured was...

KinderCare Learning Center on Atlantic Ave
This day care is not nearly as convenient to us as the Labouré Center would be, but there are enough bus and T options to make it work if you needed it to. This tour, unlike the first, took all of 15 minutes. Partly because the facility is a lot smaller and partly because the staff was busy juggling all the little ones being dropped off for the day. Overall, the center is very clean, bright and welcoming- just quite small. We also suffered a bit of sticker shock over the price, which they warned us goes up each September.
Fees for Infants (4 or 5 days): $493/week
Fees for Toddlers & Pre-School (4 or 5 days): $442/week
Fees for Pre-K (4 or 5 days): $347/week
Waiting List: None. They had spots available for late January/early February 2011.

2 other facilities we learned about, but haven't toured...
Bright Horizons at Harborview
Fees for Infants (5 days): $1875/month
Fees for Toddlers (5 days): $1550/month
Fees for Preschool (5 days): $1305/month
Waiting List: Unsure.

Columbia Point Infant and Toddler Day Care Program
Fees for Infants: $55/day
Waiting List: Unsure

Next we visited
Sunshine Child-Care
As soon as I walked into Sunshine Child-Care, I was impressed. After walking past the check-in/reception area, I was greeted by a small group of pre-schoolers sitting at a round table: "Good morning, Miss!" This tour, like the KinderCare tour, lasted maybe 15 minutes, because the infants, toddlers, and preschools are in the same big room, although the areas are sectioned off. The staff were actively engaged with the children, the facility is clean and bright with a real classroom feel to it. As I was leaving, it was so cute to see a group of children sitting in a circle being read to; most of them eagerly had their hands up waiting to be chosen to answer a question about the story. You could tell that both kids and adults were having a good time. It should also be noted that Sunshine Child-Care is a multi-lingual facility, from their website: "All programs are staffed with bi-lingual teachers speaking English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese, or both.)"
Fees for Infants (5 days): $275/week
Fees for Toddlers (5 days): $250/week
Fees for Preschool (5 days): $185/week
Waiting List: Depends on when you are hoping to enroll

And finally, we visited:
Ellis Memorial & Eldridge House's Infant/Toddler Program
We learned about Ellis Memorial from friends of ours who go there. The tour probably lasted about 45 minutes, as the facility is housed in the first floor of a larger building. The infants are on one side of the hall, and the toddlers are on the other. I can't remember how many infant rooms there are, but each one was clean and welcoming and the staff was very friendly. I met my friends' baby, who was happily bouncing on a teacher's knee when we walked in. They have evening programs that involve the parents and families, a lending library and an area to leave your stroller for the day since many parents use public transportation to drop off/pick up.
Fees for Infants: $325/week
Fees for Toddlers: $325/week
Fees for Preschool : $195/week
Waiting List: Yes, but can get on the list as soon as you fill out an application, versus having to wait until the baby is born.

Got all that? Phew! We've been busy, but thankfully have chosen one of these facilities and have firm childcare plans in place.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Run to Remember 2010

Sunday, May 30th marked the first road race of 2010 for Nick and I! Since 2005, we have run Boston's Run to Remember each year. We normally both run the half marathon; however, this year I ran the 5 miler and let Nick do the heavy lifting in the half.

Around mile 10- running back over the Salt & Pepper Shaker bridge. I like how you can see the Citgo sign in the background.

Crossing the finish line after 13 miles in the hot sun
Baby Priselac completes her first 5 mile race feeling good!
The only downside to this year's race, (probably due to the hot weather) was that I had the pleasure of seeing 2 people puke along the course. One girl was right before the finish line- hopefully that wasn't captured by Brightroom.com (who took the photos.)
If you're thinking about running this race next year- I highly recommend signing up. Both courses are pretty flat, there are a good amount of water & Gatorade stops (as well as a GU station too), and the post race amenities are fantastic. This year in addition to bagels, bananas, oranges, water, etc.- there was a Ben & Jerry's truck giving out free ice cream. Looking forward to next year's race already!
P.S. I hope everyone who was lucky enough to get a bib for the Harpoon 5-miler this weekend had a great race!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Librarian on the Run- Now With a Bun

in the oven!

Nick and I are due October 21 with our first- a baby girl!

We are slowly learning how freakin' expensive daycare is and new and exciting word combinations like "sleep sacks" "breast pump"and "stroller systems." These words on their own are harmless, but put together are scary and complex. So far, the only item I've purchased has been this:

The dreaded pink hat

All babies look like little boys unless you throw them in something pink or a dress. For the first year or so, a pink hat will have to do. I better not not hear any complaints- capice?!